What Is American Airlines’ Five Star Service?

American Airlines offers guaranteed perks for frequent travelers seeking VIP treatment.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Frequent flyers often know their way around an airport, but sometimes, they may want a little extra help or special treatment. In those cases, American Airlines offers Five Star Service in select gateway cities for travelers purchasing first or business class tickets.

This fee-based service will get you through the airport like royalty. And if you can’t afford first class, this could be a way to feel a bit special before takeoff if you’re in business.

American’s Five Star Service is available in 22 airports worldwide for $350. On top of that, some cities allow an upgrade to Five Star Select, which gives access to sit-down dining and car rides to the airplane in certain hubs, for $650.

If you don’t feel like forking over cash for Five Star Service, there is the option to use 35,000 AAdvantage miles.

What is Five Star Service?

American Airlines passengers traveling in first or business class can add to their travel experience in 22 airports by buying Five Star Service.

Five Star Service will vary depending on the airport or the connecting city. The perks include:

  • Priority check-in (including Flagship First, where available) and boarding.

  • Admirals Club lounge access.

  • Car service to the gate at the airport.

  • Priority reaccommodation in irregular operations.

  • Personal assistance at the airport.

The airports with Flagship First check-in include Chicago-O’Hare, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Miami and New York-John F. Kennedy (JFK). This is a private area for bespoke assistance. Note that the JFK facility is shared with British Airways and it is called Premium check-in.

How much does Five Star Service cost?

Five Star Service costs $350 for the first passenger, $100 for each additional adult passenger and $50 for children 17 and under. Those who don’t want to use cash can pay in AAdvantage miles instead.

The first adult will need to use 35,000 miles, with additional adults costing 10,000 miles. Children 17 and under cost 5,000 miles. The value isn't as high for a solo traveler but grows as more people join you.

Remember, if you’re traveling in a premium cabin, you’ll want to check the benefits you already have. Your Oneworld elite status might already offer many of these, too. A favorite benefit of top-tier Emerald status is that Oneworld travelers enjoy access to first class lounges, no matter what their class of travel.

So if you're already on an eligible ticket that has Flagship Lounge access, maybe paying extra doesn’t make sense unless you want Flagship First Dining, and even then, is the meal worth it?

If lounge access is the most important priority (particularly if you’ll be at the airport awhile), remember that there are cheaper ways to gain entry. These include holding the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, which comes with an Admirals Club membership as part of its $595 annual fee.

Citibank Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® Credit Card
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You can also buy a day pass to the Admirals Club, which costs $79 or 7,900 AAdvantage miles. If you’re in an airport with a Flagship Lounge, there are day passes for $150 or 15,000 AAdvantage miles per person. For many, lounge access may be the most enticing feature of Five Star Service. And if that’s all you care about, remember that day passes are an option, but there are sometimes capacity constraints.

Airports with Five Star Service

American Airlines Five Star Service is available when traveling from or through 16 U.S. airports and six international airports.

  • Austin.

  • Atlanta.

  • Boston.

  • Charlotte.

  • Chicago-O’Hare.

  • Dallas-Fort Worth.

  • Los Angeles.

  • Miami.

  • Nashville.

  • New York-JFK.

  • New York-LaGuardia.

  • Newark.

  • Philadelphia.

  • Phoenix.

  • San Francisco.

  • Washington-National.

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • London-Heathrow.

  • Rio de Janeiro.

  • São Paulo, Brazil.

  • Tokyo-Haneda.

  • Tokyo-Narita.

What is Five Star Select?

Five Star Select is available at four of American Airlines’ hubs. This program costs more but comes with access to American Airlines’ Flagship Lounges and, where available, Flagship First Dining. At the moment, only two airports are offering Flagship First Dining (Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami). It’s currently closed in Los Angeles.

All of the other Five Star Service benefits are part of the package, including access to Flagship First Check-In (where available). Perhaps the best part for someone looking for VIP treatment is the gate transfer in a private car or airport cart.

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How much does Five Star Select cost?

If you’re ready for an extra splurge, Five Star Select costs $650 for the first passenger plus $150 for each additional adult. Children 17 and under cost $75 each. You cannot pay for this service with miles.

Keep in mind whether any of these perks are already part of your ticket or elite status level so that you don’t end up paying for something you already receive.

Airports with Five Star Select

There are four airports where you can experience Five Star Select:

  • Chicago-O'Hare.

  • Dallas-Fort Worth.

  • Los Angeles.

  • Miami.

Remember that American doesn’t offer Flagship First Dining in Chicago or Flagship First Check-In in Dallas-Fort Worth.

What you need to know about Five Star Service

You can pay for the top-tier experience, but it all comes down to the level of service the crew wants to provide. But, if you want to guarantee perks like lounge access and gate transfers, American Airlines makes this an option for frequent travelers wanting VIP service.

(Top photo courtesy of American Airlines)

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